With Live Traffic available on Google Maps for users in India, Google is now offering voice-based, turn-by-turn navigation (driving directions) to Indian users by way of Google Maps Navigation (Beta).
Google Maps Navigation takes advantage of long-standing features of Google Maps for mobile. These features include powerful Google search and voice search capabilities, which allow users to find local destinations by typing or speaking an address or business name. Voice search on Google Maps Navigation, at the moment is only available in English. Google’s search tools go a distance in assisting the user. For instance, ambiguous queries and words that are misspelled are corrected and clarified without requiring the user to enter an exact address, and the optimal route from origin to destination is quickly calculated.
Google Maps Navigation, an Internet-connected GPS navigation system, offers users turn-by-turn voice-guided driving directions and it has been a free feature of Google Maps for mobile on smartphones running Android version 2.2 or later. As part of the Google Maps for mobile application, Google Maps Navigation accesses the latest information about roads and points of interest from Google’s online mapping services automatically, without the need for any manual data updates.
A quick video below should be enough to get you started.
Importantly here, although Google Maps app itself is a free download from Google Play and the access to navigation isn’t charged for either, the Google Maps app does require an Internet connection and users are responsible for any mobile data charges they incur while using the app.
Speaking at the launch of these services, Mr. Darren Baker, Product Manager for Google Maps, said: “Our goal in developing Google Maps is to provide users with the most comprehensive and accurate online maps in every country, and to share the features and benefits of Google Maps as widely as we can.”
Just this morning, we had reported about Google rolling out the Live Traffic updates for its users in India. Check Google Maps on your Android mobile or your desktop now and you will notice a new layer, called Traffic. Enable that and have your location specified, and you will be able to see what the road traffic is like in that city. At the bottom left of the Map, users can see a legend depicting the nature of the traffic at the time – ranging from slow to fast. Again, to view what the traffic conditions are like more keenly, users can zoom in to the location and with the Live Traffic layer on, they even get to know what the traffic is like at that location. The colour-coded legend lines depicted on the map explain the nature of the traffic at that place.
Highlighting the significance of today’s announcements for the Indian market, Baker added: “We’re extremely excited to bring Google Maps Navigation and live traffic information to Google Maps users in one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing markets for online maps, and we’re confident that these features will help Indian users find their way around town with greater ease and convenience than ever before.”
A little before Google Maps for Android got its update, the search giant introduced its Live Traffic update layer to Maps across Bogotá, Panama City and San Jose (Costa Rica). In addition, Google was also to bring its real-time traffic data to 130 smaller cities in the U.S., including Kalamazoo (Michigan), Portland (Maine) and Tuscaloosa (Alabama).
Do let us know your experience with both Live Traffic update on Google Maps and the turn-by-turn voice-based navigation in India.
For those who haven’t tried it yet, visit maps.google.co.in on your desktop browsers and/or download the latest version of the Google Maps app for Android from Google Play.